Gugu Peak is the most highest peak in Godeanu Mountains, 2290m.
Compared to other mountains Godeanu Mountains are less crossed by the tourists. This is either because there are few marked trails or either because they lack mountain chalets and shelters. Another disadvantage of the Godeanu Mountains represents their location – they are bordered by one of the greatest mountains in Romania – The Retezat Mountains.
Traversing the Godeanu Mountains in winter requires some knowledge about winter climbing. Because of the large mount of snow that falls during the winter season we do not recommend to climb on the mountains without snowshoes and touring skis. Forwarding through snow could be really difficult.
General Information: The Godeanu Mountains represents an important orographic node, from which mountain heights are scattered all around. The Cerna and Mehedinti Mountains towards south and south – west, Țarcului (Pen’s) Mountains towards north and north-west, Retezat Mountains towards north-east and Vâlcanului Mountains (Oslea included) towards east. The Prislopului height connects the Godeanu and Țarcu Mountains.
Characteristic to Godeanu Mountains are the smooth surfaces (which replaces the sharp peaks) and the glacial cirques, generally not too large, surrounding both sides by the main summit.
The Godeanu Mountains provide a rich pastoral trails network. Beside the trail that cross all the main summit, there are other trails that connect between the valleys Cerna and Lăpușnicului Mare. Thus there is a high pastoral traffic for the sheperds from Banat, Oltenia and Transylvania.
The legends say about Gugu Mountain that it was one of the sacred moutains for the Dacian.
Winter trekking (or ski touring) – trail proposed în Godeanu Mountains:
The Water Mouth Dam (Barajul Gura Apei) – Branul Valley – Gugu Peak – Ladder Peak (Vârgul Scărița) – Miller Peak (Vârful Morarul).
This trail was chosen due to the easy access from accumulation bam Water Mouth (Gura Apei) and also due to the housing possibilities at Guru shelter.
Access to the Gugu Shelter (from Hațeg): River of Mills (Râu de mori) > Little grove tourist stop (Dumbrăvița tourist stop) > the camp complex Brădățel > we are moving forward on the asphalted road till Tomeasa Dam – Water Mouth Lake (Lacul Gura Apei). You pass the dam and continue on the forest road. The first road intersection you will turn to the right.
The road will continue parallel with the lake shore. About 5 more km on the road that goes parallel with the Bran Creek and you will get to a dead end road. Here is where you will leave the car. The road is suitable for almost any car in summer. In winter the snow is removed only to the dam.
The climbing on the trial towards Gugu shelter is not provided with an approved tourist mark. There is a mark which appear in some places (pink circle). It doesn’t appear frequently enough such that you can orientate using it.
Starting from the car you traverse a part of the trail on the Bran river’s bank. The trail leaves the bank and climbs snaking through the forest. The level of difference needed to be climbed to the Guru refuge is 633m and the distance is 3 km.
The GPS track from the parking lot to the Guru refuge may be downloaded here.
The Gugu Shelter is the perfect place to stay in the Godeanu Mountains both during winter and summer as well. The building was rebuild about 5 years ago and the interior conditions are very good.
The accommodation possibilities are maximum 20 people. There is stove where you can make fire. The interior organization is all suited. We ask those who camp here to keep it clean inside and also to clean when leaving.
Accommodation at Guru shelter is done by the rule: first in first out. Unfortunately while ascending towards the shelter you cannot know whether there aren’t other people already. The disadvantage of the accommodation at Guru shelter is the fact that it is placed apart from the main summit trail. Starting from here a trail trip cannot be connected to other shelter. If you don’t return back here from the trip, the only option is to carry a tent with you.
Starting from Guru shelter the ascend towards the highest peak from Godeanu mountains can be done in about 2, 3 hours. It climbs through the cauldron above the shelter.
Reaching on the ridge we are between the Bran Peak (2031m) and the Gugu Peak (2290m). Here we intersect with the trail that climb from the Water Mouth chalet. Unfortunately the TGR team had not spotted any marked pillars on the trail.
Parallel to the ridge we are on, are the Tarcu Mountains. The horizon here opens wide as much towards the Borascu area of Godeanu Mountains as towards the Retezat and the Great Lăpușnicul Valley.
In the saddle we are in, beneath this Guru’s secondary peak there is a little cave know for being the Zalmoxe’s shelter place, the great priest of the Dacian.
As we approach the peak, the ridge starts narrowing. We are above Gugu lake. Because it’s winter only a part of the glacial cauldron can be seen. In our walking direction the Ses river’s valley will be on the right side and the Bran Valley on the left.
The Bran Valley was occupied at the origin of the longest glacier in the Godeanu Mountains. The Moraru-Guru ridge is sculpted by several glacial cirques which are suspended above the Bran valley. The most important glacial cauldron is the Gugu’s Cauldron (căldarea Gugului), on whose bottom you find the Gugu lake. Among the views provided, the main touristic attraction is the Guru Peak.
The level of difference from the Guru’s shelter to the peak is 727m and the distance is 3,5km.
The GPS track from the Guru’s shelter to the Guru Peak can be downloaded here.
If you return back for the night at the Guru’s shelter, we suggest that you to continue the trip on the ridge till the Moraru Peak. The trail trip can be done in two ways within a day.
We descend off the Guru peak in the saddle which connect it to the Scărița peak (2249m). The ridge is gentle and very wide.
Characterizing the Godeanu Mountains trails is the fact that after climbing abruptly on the northen and southern slopes of the massif the ridge transforms into heights and little inclined platforms, almost horizontal, on which the trip trails are easier. That‘s how the Guru-Moraru area also is.
Arriving at the top of the Miller Peak (Vârful Moraru) (2284m) we will see The Godeanu Peak on the right. Looking arround we are surrounded by mountains: Retezat, Mehedinți Mountains, Tarcu Mountains, Vâlcan Mountains. If the visibility is good we can see the Parâng Mountains and the Oltenia plain far away.
We intersect the trail of the main ridge of Godeanu Mountains – red tape. If it were for us to continue the trip in the opposite direction of the Godeanu peak, we would arrive at the Small Retezat Mountains (Piule-Iorgovanu) and then to the Great Retezat Mountains. From the top of the Gugu Peak to the Moraru peak it will take about 1-2 hours.
Equipment needed for the winter season. Given the fact that you can make fire în the Guru shelter you won‘t need a sleeping bag that supports extreme temperatures.
It is good to have a burner and a cylinder in order to cook the food and make tea. The only water source in winter is snow melting.
Other necessary equipment: jacket and pants , trekking sticks, padded coat, survival foil, two pairs of gloves, fur cap, knife, snow traps, thermos for the tea. You should take with you easy food because you will have to carry it inside the backpack.
Recommended period: no matter it is winter or summer don’t forget to consult the Weather Forecast. Get suited accordingly to the temperatures and rainfall if it is the case.